Palette Amps: The End All of Pure Tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by spectre6000, Jun 12, 2006.


  1. spectre6000

    spectre6000 Member

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    I'm sitting here looking at my new Palette stack http://www.paletteamps.com/. It's beautiful to look at... a rich see-through red finish on ash. The deep red of the wood is accentuated by the gold anodized grill and logo plate gleaming in the lamp light. On the head, behind the aforementioned grill, a matched pair of NOS RCA 6L6s gleam happily. The carefully cut Palette "P" is perfectly framed. The audio points give it an almost otherworldly look. All of this is wonderful, but as the old addage says, beauty is only skin deep... what makes this amp special?
    I first met Robert Wakeling (Owner/Engineer of Palette Amps) at the Dallas International Guitar Festival in April of 2005. Cruising through the booths, I almost walked right by thinking it was just another pretty face with the same old boutique amp workings, just a copy of a tried and true classic amplifier with slightly upgraded components. Luckily, someone played a single note that could be heard above the din of wailing rockers. I stopped dead in my tracks to see what made that incredible sound. There sat that little pretty thing with the big pricetag. I walked over and talked to the man standing at the back of the booth. I had to know what he was doing to get that tone. He explained to me some of the things he did different that other boutique (not to mention mass produced) manufacturers don't even consider. As a luthier and technician I pay keen attention to the physics of the intruments and eschew mojo in favor of what works on paper and in the studio/on the stage. Some of the things he said were so obvious, but had never been done. I'll let you talk to him for those, ingenious little tweaks and tricks so that I don't give away any secrets. Let's just say I was sold, and I'm a HARD sale.
    The sound itself is something to behold... or beheard? A clean tone is a good thing, but there's good clean tone and bad clean tone. This thing makes a Roland JC120 sound like a Peavey Rage... seriously... it's that amazing. Shortly after the show, I was in a Guitar Center and played a Mesa Lonestar. I work my own hours, so i was able to get in when there weren't a bunch of kids banging away on Epiphones and Marshalls. I cranked up the amp that used to get high marks for clean tone sounded dull and boring... what has happened? Now I'm completely jaded... I was going to have to settle on my Fender Twin for lack of the money needed to buy one of these amazing amps. What about the driven tone though? The Palette remarkably left nothing to be wanted. Metal heads might be a bit disappointed, but they have their pedals to keep them happy (you have to have something good to start with afterall). As for me and a majority of the guitar playing public, the Palette leaves nothing to be desired... NOTHING. It screams with all the balls of a rabid dog. Driven through the ceramic 15" speaker, the amp was perfect for blues, classic rock, or even hard rock. The lower frequencies are accurately represented; deep and full. The highs are present up to the highest frequency in full. Nothing is left out. With the amplifier turned about halfway up, sitting on the couch accross the room, I can LITERALLY FEEL THE ATTACK. It's an actual wave of sound! You can feel the wall of sound literally hit you in the face. It sounds crazy, but it's something that has to be felt to believe. It is a physical thing. It's not that loud, the attack is just that pronounced... it's indescribable. I've sold all of my amplifiers and will never need to buy another. This is the end all of pure tone. Every serious guitarist owes it to themselves to go play one of these amplifiers in a nice quiet room so that they can hear this magnificent peice of art and engineering.
     
  2. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Okay, I'll bite.

    How much are these things? I seem to remember that one of them at one of the shows had 5 figures in the pricetag...
     
  3. 57special

    57special Member

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    let me see, three posts, and all of them about Palleta amps? For whom you do "amp clinics"? Not exactly an unbiased, objective source of opinion, are you?:(
     
  4. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I checked those out at Arlington, thought they sounded good but not $3k good. Glad you're happy, though...
     
  5. spectre6000

    spectre6000 Member

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    I'm not doing the clinic, I'm just going (along with some friends who are equally interested). Supposedly there's an effects unit in the works and I want to see it (even though i don't think i'll be able to buy one this go 'round).
    Additionally, I am very biased, I just spent $7500 on an amplifier (that's twice as much as my car is worth), I'm beyond biased, i'm committed! :) also, I found this site by googling Palette Amps, so that's what I read (and posted on) first. I'll get around to posting other things as I read about them (my computer speakers aren't good enough for the 12ax7 comparisons, nor my connection fast enough for a good A/B test). This forum is really cool btw. It's good to find some other gearheads.
    Hope I didn't offend anyone with my positive review... also, i was feeling a bit poetic... it's a beautiful thing, what can i say?
     
  6. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    In regards to Palette effects:

    Robert (palette amps) has an overdrive already designed (proto bought by Aaron) and supposedly a reverb that is absolutely, completely amazing. He is working on an all tube phase shifter right now. He said he is building effects because all the ones he ran through his amps sounded very bad, not sure how or what that means, he mentioned something about them "collapsing the soundstage around the instrument, making it sound very two dimmensional and flat, loosing all the tone and texture".

    I can't wait to hear Robert's effects, his Minuette will be my next amp when I can get the funds together for one. Very expensive, but for me...after hearing it, worth every dime.
     
  7. 58gasman

    58gasman Member

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    I must say these amps have definitely piqued my interest. When I first saw their old website I was inclined to think "oh god here we go again more overpriced bull......" But actually speaking to Robert Wakeling and hearing these clips have awakened some feelings of GAS. Though ,for the moment at least, these feelings are tempered by the price and my lack of funds.

    Hope to hear and play one in person someday though.

    Aaron--very nice clips I look for hearing more from you and about these amps.

    Craig
     
  8. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    I think that the question needs to be asked, well what about the "serious" guitarist that actually will not have the luxury of picking all of their gigs in a nice quiet room?

    Is this a home/studio amp only?
    How well would such a piece sit in the mix of a rock band?

    I would wonder then if this is an instrument for a home enthusiast with the cash, or a producers piece of recording equipment/gear for getting a certain sound? Much like their coveted Marshalls and Matchless and Trainwrecks etc. etc.......

    FWIW, I would not mind hearing one, I just could not imagine gigging with it.

    M.E.
     
  9. A.Squirrel

    A.Squirrel Member

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    Michael I use the amps in actual real life gigs used them in crappy bars and a few times where if I sit in with somebody no miced amp and everybody else is in the house and it cuts through very easily. I can easily see the point in not wanting to use them live because of the looks though!
    gasman have you heard the new 30 w clips I just posted the 1st 4 are new the rest is the the 5w that is meant to be used as a studio amp.http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=503731

    Squirrel
     
  10. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool looking amps, but this serious guitarist will stick to Harry Joyce and/or Wizards as $$ permits :)
     
  11. Kinkirsi

    Kinkirsi Member

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    :AOK
     
  12. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    Those amps are beautiful for sure, but there are TONS of better sounding (to my ears) less expensive amps out there. I've played through a few models, and have heard one of my favorite players do the same. I might own one if they were about 1/2 the price or less (or maybe if I made twice as much on the day gig), but for that kind of money I can get two or three amps that sound at least as good, and I don't have to worry so much about them getting banged up at gigs.

    All that said, Robert is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.
     
  13. Kinkirsi

    Kinkirsi Member

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    They look purty but damn, why so taxed? I'd like a peak under the hood...:worried
     
  14. DonW

    DonW Velocity Town Angel Silver Supporting Member

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    Linky no worky
     
  15. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    For the price, they don't have much of a warranty. 2 years with many qualifications. Really all the warranty is their soldering.
     
  16. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    $7,500?! Man... For that price you ought to at least get some Tolex on the cabs... ;)
     
  17. reaiken

    reaiken Member

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    Yes, but don't forget...you're paying that much to avoid "collapsing the soundstage".

    (Sorry, I just couldn't resist taking a poke at the audiophool buzzwords!) :)

    I need to raise the prices on my amps....

    Randall Aiken
     
  18. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    wow. The hate spreads from the logo polls.

    Why do some insist on taking a crap on what others find impressive? I have heard these amps first hand and although I can't afford a Minuette for myself, I plan to try hard to save up the cash for one anyway. It is a sacrifice I feel is worth the amp in question. If I didn't feel that strongly for something, why would I make such a sacrifice to get it?

    Anyway, hope to make the clinic Aaron. If not, I'll just take up Robert's invite to his house for some beer and time on the amps.
     
  19. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    No hate here. But some very healthy scepticism.

    You two seem very cozy with the ampmaker, which is fine, but it also makes your judgements suspect. I mean come on, just look at the title of this thread. You are also geographically near each other, so for all we know, you are all in some way vested with the company.

    There has been quite a bit of this stuff over the internet...trying to create buzz. I AM NOT accusing you of this, but you have to be somewhat understanding when he never participate in this forum outside of talking about how great these amps are.

    EP
     
  20. kannibul

    kannibul Member

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    Heard them at the Okie Ampfest. They have Hammond Transformers...

    Not that having them is bad, but for the price-tag, I'd expect something more.

    The tone seemed very pure, but that compared to someone's Bassman RI - I would have chosen the Bassman RI.

    We had a lot of amps there, Bogner, Peavey, Mesa, Orange, Marshall, Fender, Aiken and Roccaforte were the brands...and the Palette, other than looks and price, didn't blow away any of them, IMO.

    There were some snotty kids that were there, created quite a stink on HCAF afterwards...hey, is the thread starter you?
     

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